In November we dove into the idea of better and how small, incremental changes can drive us towards our goals.
Christian Klepp kicked us off by quoting Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw who tells us that;
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
Kristen Cox refined that idea, who discussed the importance of focusing our limited time and attention to get the best improvements. In her video, she reminds us that “all improvements are changes, but not all changes are improvements.”
It’s a critical distinction and one which also helps us differentiate continuous improvement initiatives that help solve problems from actions designed to put out fires.
In fact, Gabriela Schellekens, a self-described “Rebellious Improver”, told us about the eternal conundrum of being “too busy firefighting; no time to work on fire prevention.”
Through all of the contributions to the continuous improvement conversation in November, the underlying message was incredibly simple.
Get 1% better every day.
As Tana Hutchison explained, it’s not sexy, it’s not impressive, it doesn’t put on a big show. There is one thing about it though: it works.
And it works incredibly well if the inspirational story of Chris Nikic is anything to go by! Melanie Francis shared his story about taking his personal motto, “get 1% better every day” and applying that to his journey to becoming the first person with Down Syndrome to complete an Ironman.
The continuous improvement conversation shone a light on empowering people, with Alfred A highlighting that when people are able to influence continuous improvement within an organisation, it’s more likely to improve performance.
A global concept, continuous improvement (or ‘kaizen’ as John Ferguson Smart discussed in his video) is often simple, but seldom easy. It’s about doing the work and asking questions that aren’t always welcome like, “is it better than it was before”, “am I better than I was before”, and “what can I do today that will lead to ‘better’”?
As our co-founder Mitchell Hunt outlined in his blog, continuous improvement can be applied to any part of life and business, you just have to:
- Set your goal
- Ask yourself, is it better than it was before?
- Do the work to keep answering that question with “yes”
Do that, and never let perfect be the enemy of your progress again.
Thank you to everyone that contributed to the conversation in November and we look forward to finishing 2020 with a look at Communication.
If you have some insights around communication, or if this is a challenge in your world, we’d love to hear from you during December.
We’ll be looking at communication in a range of environments and through a variety of channels, so no matter if you are presenting to a large audience of experts, messaging through social media, or having individual conversations, December is a great time to join the conversation with us.
See you in the comments!